Welcome to Mattala

Hambantota is the main town in southern Sri Lanka’s Hambantota district. During its ancient past as the rich and fertile Kingdom of Ruhuna, its natural harbour was an important trading port for travellers from the East arriving in their sampan vessels.

Hambantota was originally called Sampantota for this reason.

Following the Indian Ocean tsunami in 2004, which destroyed much of the town, Hambantota is undergoing development as one of Sri Lanka’s five up-and-coming environmentally-friendly ‘metro cities’.

Its impressive natural, historical, cultural and economic resources are being developed and promoted to improve everyday life in the city, protect its lush environment and attract visitors and businesses to this upcoming corner of Sri Lanka.

Top things to see and do

  • Visit Hambantota’s harbour to see rows of impressively decorated traditional fishing boats moored together
  • Buy some jewellery or kitchen utensils made by local craftspeople from coconut shells. Coconut production is a major industry in Hambantota
  • Visit Hambantota Salt Pans where sea water is evaporated to produce salt. The salt pans are home to many species of shore birds and waders, including flamingos and pelicans
  • See both species of crocodile (saltwater and freshwater) on a safari at the unique Bundala National Park, as well as deer, pangolins, langur monkeys and sea turtles
  • Tissamaharama, the gateway to the Yala National Park with its ancient dagoba (temple) is just 29km away
  • If you want to see leopards in their natural habitat, the Yala National Park, 57km from Hambantota is the place to spot them

Tips for travellers

29 km from Hambantota is Madunagala Hot Springs where you can bathe in tanks of bubbling warm water coming up from deep below ground. There’s also a tourist village at Madunagala with an organic farm, an aquarium, a bird sanctuary, a folk art museum and herb and spice gardens.

Travel ideas

Useful information about Mattala, Sri Lanka

Current weather
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Average temps
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  • - Apr-Jun
  • - Jul-Sep
  • - Oct-Dec
Time & date
  • 07:11 Local time
  • Wed 22 Nov Date
  • GMT+5:30 Time Zone
More info
  • Sri Lankan rupee Currency
  • Sinhala/Tamil Languages
  • 230 V, 50 Hz, type D/G plug Power adapter

Airport information

Upcoming events

News & articles about Mattala

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